Vancouver Canucks: 51 GP, 23-22-6, 52 t, fourth in the Pacific Division
Colorado Avalanche: 50 GP, 22-20-8, fifth in the Central Division
Vancouver Canucks will return to Nicholas Goldobin after four healthy scratches when they return to work on Saturday night in Denver against the Colorado Avalanche.
While the rest of the team has been absent for the past nine days, Goldie has not played for almost three weeks. His last appearance was Vancouver's victory 5-1 over Florida on January 13, when he took the third fifth, which eventually led to Panther's only goal of the game, a second after retiring from the ice – and tied the game 1 -1, before Canucks eventually open it.
What green wants from Goldobin tonight: "A little faster getting places and a bit stronger in his 1-on-1 battles. And when he has a washer he is able to get out of someone when you have the puck in the corner. "#Canucks
– Ben Kuzma (@benkuzma) February 2, 2019
More Green on Goldobin: "At this time of the year, the game shrinks and you have to fight for space, it has many attributes we need, it can play through the neutral zone and the offensive zone and can hold the puck. #Canucks
– Ben Kuzma (@benkuzma) February 2, 2019
The Canucks seem to have survived the All-Star game and their weekly breaks without new injuries, so it seems Marcus Grundlund's turn to take the place in the press – his first hard scratch of the season.
Morning skate lines for #Canucks in Mile Hai City:
(Extras: Granuland, Schaller)
Markstrom on the Starter Network. pic.twitter.com/PIArTu5ODX
– Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) February 2, 2019
Granund has 8-9-17 in 51 games this year and is deployed in a wide range of roles. His flexibility and defense responsibility are his two best traits. But he has only two goals and one assistant in his last 13 games returned on December 22 – a stretch where the Canucks offense has fallen to an average of only 2.31 goals per game and they have been eliminated four times.
On paper, Goldy-Petey-Boeser seems to be almost as fun as the Landeskog-MacKinnon-Rantanen trick from Colorado, so it will be interesting to see how the match is played. Scratching Granlund means Pettersson will not have a reserve when his line is to take off, but I guess Travis Green feels like he's got enough depth in that area with Bo Harwatt, Brandon Suther and Jay Beagle who keep his rest three lines.
Avs coach Jared Bednar breaks his big rifles to start the game, but says he can sometimes put his top trio together – and they will surely be deployed in the game.
The couples today are:
– AJ Haefele (@AJHaefele) 1 February 2019
After making NHL score a good start for the season, Mikko Ranantan dropped third with Johnny Gauer with 74 points. 22-year-old Forward had 21 points in 12 games in October, 22 in 14 games in November, 19 at 14 in December, and comparatively modest 12 points in 10 games in January.
Changes in Bednar's composition are an attempt to recapture the early season's magic of his team, who has fought over the past six weeks. From December 20 Avs are 3-10-2 and have given up five or more goals in seven of these 15 games.
By comparison, Canucks are 7-5-2 over the same stretch and have denied five goals only twice on the road.
Semyon Varlamov is expected to start on the net. He is so strong 13-12-5 this season, with a rescue rate of 0.988 and 2.82 goals against an average. Before the break, he took regular action, starting six consecutive matches before completing Philip Grubauer's network for the loss of Avs 5-2 from Minnesota on January 23rd.
Jacob Marxheim will nod for Vancouver. His personal numbers for the year are almost identical to those of Varlamov: also a rescue rate of 0.988 and 2.84 GAA. But his record is better. He is 19-13-5 of the year, and his rate of quality start in the Hockey Reference is now up to .622. This is an indicator where all over 600 is considered "good" and the average value of the league is about .530. Marcstrom was .509 last season and averaged 466 during his stay in Vancouver, so his number this season is fantastic – especially for a person who has just turned 29 and makes a very friendly at $ 3.667 million for this season and the next.
By comparison, Varlamov is on .581 this year after falling to .596 in quality starting last season. It will be on April 31 and will be UFA this summer after finishing the final season of a five-year deal that has paid him 5.9 million dollars a year.
Like Canucks, the Avs also go aside. They sent all three members on their big line to the All-Star weekend. Nathan McCinnon suffered a bruised foot in the last Avs game and was taken out of action – which led to the exciting corner of Kendall Coyne Schofield in the fastest race. This was McKinn's third all-star nod and, as with Elias Petterson, the first for Randantan and Captain Gabriel Landesgog.
The Canucks / Avs game is a fun way to get back into action – and start a four-day trip to Canucks. the team returns to the Rogers Arena to host Calgary Flames next Saturday.
Just three months ago, Canucks played the most fun game of the Year at Rogers Arena in the wild game back and forth, which will be remembered as Elias Pettersson's first five-point game in the 7-8 victory in Vancouver.
As long as we wait for a drop puff, why not experience this crazy night on November 2?
Petey mentioned this game as the funniest one he had throughout the year. I hope that both sides can redirect some of this magic this evening.
Enjoy the game!